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Wow Webster campaign stimulates local economy

A gift card drive and promotion in Webster earlier this month has generated $73,000 to be circulated in the community. This total included nearly $32,000 in matching funds donated towards the campaign to support small town businesses.

“I’m so happy that it was so successful,” said Webster Area Development Corporation (WADC) summer intern Emma Kroll. The Development Corporation was the organization that planned the event. “I think that the Wow Webster gift card drive was such a great way to boost business in Webster. All of the businesses worked so well with us to help make this such a successful event, and we had so much of our community supporting us at this time.”

According to Kroll, there were 1,642 total gift cards sold in $25 and $50 increments. A portion of those gift cards received a $100 match until the matching funds ran out. The City of Webster donated $25,000 towards the campaign and other local organizations, individuals and businesses donated the rest of the matching funds. There was a total of $31,950 matching funds raised.

Roughly 400 people purchased gift cards throughout the campaign. The initial “radioaton” was held May 7; matching funds ran out by noon.

Additional gift card orders were received from May 8-15 at the WADC office. While matching funds were not available for the gift cards sold on those days, additional prize baskets were made available for those who purchased gift cards during that time.

“Even though the matching funds ran out, people still kept buying gift cards. I think that’s just great,” said WADC president Kathy Meland. She said now that the totals have been tallied up, people should expect the gift cards to be mailed directly to them by the end of the week.

The highest amount a single gift card buyer purchased during the gift card drive was $832, Kroll said – this includes the $1 per card fee that was associated with the drive.

“So many businesses participated and Melissa (Waldner, WADC Director) and I couldn’t have been more proud of our turn out, and of our community,” said Kroll. “I didn’t really know what to expect during this gift card drive – and to be honest, I didn’t know it was going to turn out, considering it was such short notice – but, honestly I’m not surprised by how well our community and businesses came together to support one another. I couldn’t be more proud to be given this opportunity to help support our community and business.”

Besides the City of Webster, contributors to the matching fund were Mike’s Jack & Jill, Webster American Legion, G. Todd Garry, PA, Bill and Susan Duerre, Delaney, Nielsen & Sannes, NorthWestern Energy, Coteau Hills Construction, Great Western Bank, CorTrust Bank and Dacotah Bank; Foothills Contracting, Webster Scale, Dave Hahler Automotive and Johnson Farms contributed additional funds once the initial pot ran out, Kroll said.

To support this campaign, the WADC received a $1,000 grant from the South Dakota Community Foundation and an additional $1,000 from the Day County Community Foundation.

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